LaToya Jackson gets fired from 'The Apprentice' by Donald Trump
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/25/2011
LaToya Jackson became the ninth candidate eliminated from NBC's fourth season of The Celebrity Apprentice during Sunday night's broadcast of the reality competition's eighth episode.
The Apprentice star Donald Trump fired the singer after her A.S.A.P. women's team lost the season's task assignment for the fourth time this season.
The task required A.S.A.P. and Backbone, the men's team, to each create a conceptual ad campaign for the Trump Hotel collection, featuring four-page ads that would allow each individual page to have the standout ability to run on its own. The winning team would have their ad presented in Saveur Magazine.
In addition, each team was required to present their campaign in front of Trump Hotel executives, who would then judge the presentations based on their creativity and originality, company brand messaging, and the overall pitch.
"It was a wonderful experience. I truly enjoyed working with Mr. Trump. As far as my teammates were concerned, that's a totally different story. I think Star Jones is a very manipulative person. I think she's very conniving and she's very evil. It doesn't matter if she has to lie, cheat or steal to do it. Truthfully, I think Mr. Trump made a mistake. I am not a weak player, and it's not a good feeling to be fired when you know you have so much more to offer," LaToya said following her firing.
Talk show host Star volunteered to serve as the project manager for A.S.A.P. -- which also included LaToya, model and Playboy Playmate of the Year Hope Dworaczyk, The Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes, and actress Marlee Matlin -- and was ready to expand on the power she thought she already had over her team.
Meanwhile, the men's team Backbone -- which consisted of country singer and former Nashville Star and Gone Country judge John Rich, rock star Meat Loaf and rapper Lil Jon -- had trouble deciding who should be project manager because the remaining team members had little experience with Trump Hotels. However, John suggested he would take on the challenge, even though he felt it automatically put him at a disadvantage for not being knowledgeable over the topic.
A.S.A.P. agreed that Star was a very good project manager and leader. She, with her team, decided to focus their presentation on the concept "individual luxury, collective quality." They used many photographs to sell their idea and highlighted many key words describing the Trump Hotel collection during their presentation.
Backbone had an equally approving opinion of their project manager and felt they all worked very well as a team of only three members. They felt they worked well with the actor and former Celebrity Rehab participant Gary Busey gone and centered their presentation on the theme "live the life." They used contextual words to match their own personal experiences and narratives for the pitch.
After both teams completed their presentations, the executives felt that A.S.A.P. and Backbone had both failed the task at hand and admitted their campaigns and presentations were simply terrible.
Later on the in boardroom, Trump revealed the winner of the task was simply the "lesser of two evils," and that it wouldn't even be fair to acknowledge the winning team as the "winner." He announced which team was the "loser" instead, and both teams were shocked at how badly their presentations and ads actually turned out in the end.
A.S.A.P. was told their ads looked sleazy and unrealistic. In the scene NeNe had directed, which featured Hope drinking a glass of champagne in a bubble bath filled with rose petals, Hope's white towel that was wrapped around her body was noticeable in the bath and the bottle of champagne strategically based in an ice container beside her was uncorked.
In addition, the celebrities took turns theatrically reciting certain words that Star believed described the Trump Hotels brand. The executives, however, found the presentation distracting and revealed it made them "cringe." They felt it was an orchestrated strict delivery and that it didn't come from the heart at all. The executives bluntly named it a "Greek tragedy."
Backbone learned their ads had too many words with multiple misspellings, while they were too traditional and unoriginal. The executives liked their personal stories and made a connection to their pitch and enthusiasm, but the men also did not talk about the end product and released no call to action including a number, email address, website, or anything of the sort.
Trump deemed the women's team, A.S.A.P., the ultimate "loser" of the task. As a result, the winning team's project manager, John, earned $20,000 for the St. Jude's Research Children's hospital.
During the boardroom session, all the women agreed that LaToya would be the weakest player going forward in the competition. However, it was obvious Star was responsible for the failure of the task since she acted as their project manager and came up with most of the ideas herself. The Trump Hotel executives even told Trump LaToya seemed to be the strongest and best person on A.S.A.P.
LaToya fired back and told Trump that Star should be the one fired because she always took control of the tasks and A.S.A.P. often lost the tasks she was so intently involved in. LaToya tried to explain that Star was not a team player and that she was a dictator instead.
Trump, a little confused as to who to send home, asked Star to select two people to re-enter the boardroom with. Star surprisingly chose NeNe to join her, not because she thought the reality TV star would be a possible candidate Trump would fire, but rather to have her as a support system in attempting to get rid of LaToya.
NeNe came to Star's beck and call as Star had hopes and told Trump LaToya was not a strong player. Star tried to explain A.S.A.P. would have a better chance at surviving onward if LaToya was not one of its members. However, LaToya stuck up for herself and said Star was often responsible for leading the team in a poor direction, offering questionable ideas or execution.
"Star runs the show. Bottom line," LaToya said.
Despite LaToya's plea to remain in the competition and suggestion she has truly progressed as a team member and potential leader, Trump knew what he had to do in order to maintain the bond between A.S.A.P.'s members.
"The men have an amazingly strong team. It's an amazing process that's taken place over the years with The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice. It sort of ends up being that some very good people get to the end, and I think the process works. So, the men's team is going to be very very formidable. The women's team, I think, is going to be more formidable if everybody gets along, because I'm not sure that you're going to be able to handle what you have in these three killers that are left," Trump told LaToya.
"Now, I would say that I've gained tremendous respect -- more than anybody here -- for LaToya, because I think she started as a lower denominator in my mind, and she ended up being an equal and in some cases, greater. But I will say this, I don't think the team wants LaToya going forward and they know the problems they're going to have beating these three guys. I think it's going to be very tough for you to win, but we have to give you that chance. LaToya you're fired."